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Interview. Thomas Phemius, Director of a Eurocommercial shopping centre: "The number one challenge is retaining shoppers"

Eurocommercial, which owns the Passage du Havre shopping center in Paris, is a strong player in European retail real estate. Thomas Phemius, Director of the Grand A shopping center, which works hand in hand with Spaycial, looks at the challenges faced by shopping centres in a post-Covid-19 era. And how retention, thanks to shopper knowledge, is a key to success.

Spaycial: What are the cornerstones of your role in a shopping centre's value creation strategy in 2022?

Thomas Phemius: I am responsible for the property management and operation of the site, implementing the Group's general policy and helping define the centre's marketing strategy. I maintain regular relations with the local authorities and unite the retailers, the Group's support services and the co-owners around the priorities defined for the center.

S: What challenges does a shopping centre face these days?

T.P. :In this post-covid period, the number one challenge is the retention of shoppers. How do you bring back old shoppers, how do you attract new ones, especially with the issue of purchasing power, which also plays an important role in attracting potential shoppers? And to attract them, there are so many offers that it is essential to know them well. The key to success is to offer an optimal and differentiated visitor experience. Cashback and promotions are good tools for this.

S: What are the solutions?

T.P. :We need to bring in a data brick to increase retention. Who are our shoppers? How much do they spend? Where are they spending? To do this, a partner like Spaycial offered us a very useful starting solution that either confirms or invalidates what we thought was true, or brings us completely new elements, such as cross-selling. In this sense, for the moment, the results are there. The catchment area brick is the next step. We are going to internalize our CRM, increase our competence in data and directly integrate Spaycial data for a global vision.

WinWin Grand A, by Spaycial

S: So you already see further on the role of data in your actions?

T.P.: The shopping centre is another channel which must bring a maximum flow to our brands. Thus, if the share of loyalty and data is important, we must not underestimate the weight of events that bring in a lot of people at a given time. This is why we regularly organize meetings with celebrities, in order to attract more and more visitors and differentiate ourselves from the competition.

S: What is your vision?

T.P.: We will tend towards a more qualified flow. There are fewer visitors, fewer visits per person, but a larger and more qualitative basket since the end of the pandemic. The visits are therefore more productive. Each visit is reasoned. The flow is refined by itself, it is now a question of refining it. This is one of the reasons why data allows us to better understand our shoppers, to make the right strategic choices and to attract the right brands.

S: How could you be even better accompanied?

T.P :I'd like to see more advanced support for activation, with a marketing brick for a true end-to-end. Spaycial's solution is indeed very effective for indicators. Now it's up to us to build a global sales promotion tool together.